"Vara" means boon and "Mahalakshmi" is the Hindu goddess for wealth and well-being. "Vrata" means fasting.
This fast is observed by married women to please the Goddess Lakshmi, so that she grants a boon of wealth and well-being to the family, especially to the husbands. Women observe the fast till they complete the pooja.
Also Read: Simple Tips To Decorate Varalakshmi Idol
Worshipping Lakshmi on this day is said to be equivalent to worshipping the eight incarnations of Lakshmi. Varamahalakshmi falls on the Friday preceding a full moon in the Hindu month of Shravan.
All preparations are made to celebrate this day in grandeur and all the family members take an active part in the celebration of this festival, especially the women in the family.
For those having elders at home, there is no problem, but many people who stay away from their home and family in different cities need little guidance on religious issues.
If you are one of them, then read on. The first and foremost thing is getting your house set for Varamahalakshmi. Once this is done, you are all set to perform the pooja.
Clean: We all aim at keeping our houses clean, but before a festival this becomes all the more important. Varamahalakshi Vrata holds a special place for married women. Lakshmi is invited to enter the house and hence the house needs to be squeaky clean.
List & Purchase: You cannot afford to run last minute to the market. So, prepare a list of all the required items. This will include materials required for the pooja and all the ingredients needed to prepare the festive recipes. Important among these are the pooja thread, the kalash (if you do not have one), dry fuits, coconut, flowers, banana leaves and mango leaves.
Prepare Sweets: Sweets and prasadam have to be prepared to offer to the Goddess. Some of the savories prepared for Varamahalakshmi are rava pulihora, nuvvulu appalu, payasam, pesara garelu etc. While getting your house set for Varamahalakshmi, make sure to prepare sweets one day prior, as on the day of the vrata, you may have many other things to do.
Decorate: Getting your house set for Varamahalakshmi means decorating your house in preparation for the Goddess to enter and grant your family happiness and wealth. Using rice paste, draw small patterns at the foot of all the doors to guide the Goddess. An important part of the decoration is the rangoli that is prepared on the pedestal, on which the Goddess will be placed. This rangoli necessarily consists of a lotus flower with eight petals.
You know how to prepare your home for Varamahalakshmi Vrata, but you also need to know how to prepare the place where you will be performing the pooja.
Kalash: Before you start the rituals, prepare the kalash with five types of fruits, rice, dry fruits, mango leaves, a coconut on the top and cloth.
Adorn the Shrine: Place Goddess Lakshmi on the wooden pedestal with the lotus rangoli and dress her with jewellery and new clothes. Using cotton and haldi-kumkum, make garlands for the Goddess. Get flower garlands also ready to offer to the Goddess.
Prasadam: All the prasadam that you have prepared is to be offered to the Goddess. It is important to make an offering of the prasadam, as it is this offering that gives it its significance.
Decorate the whole area with banana leaves and flowers. And do not forget to dress up well, as the Goddess would like you too to be looking your best. Perform the rituals with devotion and the Goddess is sure to bless you.
Varamahalakshmi vrata is performed in the southern states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Some parts of Maharashtra and Orissa too celebrate this vrata on a large scale.